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Courses & Requirements

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The associate in science degree program in Early Childhood Education is career oriented and designed to enable students to choose a professional role in early childhood education. The program is structured to prepare students for professional careers whether they are pre-service or already working in the field of early childhood education. How children grow, develop and learn will become more meaningful through course work, directed observation and the study of the young child as an individual and as he/she functions in a variety of group settings. An integral part of this program is, therefore, the practicum placement which allows the student to apply theory and new skills, under guidance and supervision, in a variety of classrooms and educational programs. The program also provides the foundation for further study at a four-year college. To meet graduation requirements, 68 credit hours are required for students with documented work experience, and 69 credit hours are required for pre-service students.

Students must maintain a grade of C or above in all ECE prefixed courses to proceed to the next semester’s sequence in Early Childhood Education. Students whose grades fall below this level may continue only with the permission of the Early Childhood Education Coordinator.

Starting in the fall of 2014, any student enrolled in an associate degree program who is new to NECC and has no academic history at the college, must take at least one course designated as intensive in each of NECC’s six core academic skills in order to graduate. In most cases, the program’s core required courses include these intensive courses. Plan to see an advisor for more complete information about this graduation requirement.


Students interested in participation in an academic program that involves working with children, the disabled, or the elderly, or a cooperative education experience or a program that includes a clinical affiliation with a private or public health care provider, may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, a Criminal Records Central Repository (CHRI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. Students will need to provide a government issued photo identification and sign a release form allowing the college to view the student’s CORI, CHRI or SORI reports. Depending on the contents of a student’s CORI, CHRI or SORI reports, participation in an academic program or a cooperative education experience or a clinical or practicum affiliation related thereto, may be denied. CORI checks may be performed pursuant to Mass. General Laws, Chapter 6, Section 172, and consistent with guidelines promulgated by the Executive Office for Health and Human Services, and/or the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Health. SORI checks may be performed pursuant to Mass. General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 178(J) & 178(K). CHRI checks may be performed pursuant to New Hampshire law. For more information, contact the Registrar at 978-556-3700.

Courses Credits Comments
BIO101 Human Biology with BIO102 Human Biology Laboratory
BIO111 Introductory Biology I
BIO121 Anatomy & Physiology
4 Choose 1 biological science
COM111 Public Speaking 3  
ECE101 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3 Co-requisite
ECE111 Preschool Curriculum 3 Co-requisite
ECE181 ECE Field Placement I 1 Pre-service Students Only, Co-requisite
ECE182 ECE Field Placement II 1 Co-requisite
ECE201 Language & Reading Development 3 Prerequisite, Co-requisite
ECE202 Expressive Learning Activities in EC Curriculum 3 Prerequisite
ECE203 Math & Science in EC Curriculum 3 Prerequisite
ECE250 Seminar in Philosophy in ECE 3 Prerequisite
ECE271 Early Childhood Education Practicum I 4 Prerequisite
ECE272 Early Childhood Education Practicum II 4 Prerequisite
ENG101 English Composition I 3  
ENG102 English Composition II 3 Prerequisite
MAT118 Mathematical Ideas I 3 Prerequisite
MAT119 Mathematical Ideas II 3 Prerequisite
PSY101 Introduction to Psychology 3  
PSY203 Child Psychology 3 Prerequisite
EDU102 Introduction to Special Education 3 Prerequisite
SCI111 Physical Science I
SCI112 Physical Science II
4 Choose 1 physical science course
Courses Credits Comments
History & Government Elective 3 HIS101
HIS102 recommended
Humanities/Fine Arts Electives 6 consult with an advisor